Governor Rauf Aregbesola is not smiling with the media at all.
The Osun State Governor bared his mind during the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Press Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Osun Council on Monday.
The summary of his speech was this: The media is over-emphasizing the issue of non-payment of salaries and thereby abandoning their fundamental responsibility. Aregbesola believes the media should rise to a global challenge of “hunger and poverty”, but indirectly wants the media to ignore the hunger and poverty of Osun workers who he owes indiscriminately. According to Aregbesola, workers constitute just 2% of the state population and they need to sacrifice just as the British people sacrificed in a time of hunger under Winston Churchill. The governor did not mention what sacrifices he and his family are making however.
Now you can read excerpts of his speech below:
“The media should rise to the global challenge of hunger and poverty, it must stand against anything that threatens true federalism and not criticize governments. Rather than the media rising up to the challenge, they kept on burgeoning the people trying to do good for the society. We are not condemning the workers; we are only telling the media of their roles in setting the standard. If you see corruption, report corruption and challenge corruption. It is the duty of the media to let us know that when this happen (crude oil losing its value)… The press can set an agenda that it’s a curse for any nation to depend on others for food. It’s an agenda that press must set, zero tolerance for autocracy.”
“The elites used the media to gain Nigeria’s independence then but now our press men criticize those even trying to make things better, they have failed to set standards for the government. Instead of looking at the larger picture, our media are clamouring for the salary of the less than 5% of the population. Look at the roads, the schools, our security system which has all been improved but the media won’t report that rather they criticize.
“Is i justifiable on the part of media to reduce development to the few on the payment of salaries? If you juxtapose the civil servants, who are just 2% of the entire population and their dependents, who are about three per cent, then you will realise that governance should not be reduced to payment of salaries to workers.”
“A society is not made up by people in government alone. Aregbesola has performed, the roads that government build would be used by all. The drainages that government built would save everybody. The security that government provides is for everybody. You will not reduce development to only payment of salaries.
“Essence of government is compassion. Government primary role is to be concerned about the welfare of the people as it was with Britain during the 1st world war and second world war. There was a time food was in short supply in Britain. The PM at that time was Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill addressed the people on the need to sacrifice. The British women, who could not go to war willingly donated their jewelries to the cost of war. Nigeria entered a war in 2013 when 600,000 barrels of crude oil were being stolen. What happened to Nigeria was equivalent to war. It got worsened and the theft grew to 1m barrel of crude. The theft created a glut in the international market.
“Federalism must be supported because it is fundamental issue upon which our nation was created. Therefore we cannot be ruled as singularly component. The press in Nigeria must play a a leading role. Not a press that pillory a governor for having a flag and its anthem, saying we we want to secede. What Osun can never contemplate is secession. There is no federalism in the world where three tiers of government is recognised. Can local government be a federating unit? The answer is no. The press must support the people in promoting true federalism. The issue is not about me, but about the interest of the nation.
“I can boldly say that Aregbesola’s administration has succeeded amazingly. I urge our press men to rise to the country’s challenges and work with the government to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people.”